A woodland in June is vibrant - full of life, glorious colour, sounds and smells. Wildlife is thriving as the early summer brings long, bright days and warmer temperatures. The air is alive with birdsong and humming insects. Adults are raising their young, flowers are flourishing and butterflies flutter by at every turn. Here's what’s happening in the world of woodland wildlife this month.

Set your alarm

If you can rise early enough, June is a great time to listen to the dawn chorus.

Symphony of sounds

Any woodland walk in June will be set against a backdrop of cheerful birdsong. Robins, blackbirds, thrushes, wrens, warblers, tits and finches are flitting from branch to branch as they perform their merry melodies. Some birds are more likely to be heard than seen - listen out for:

  • nightingales singing until the end of the month
  • the last calls of the cuckoo before it flies back to Africa
  • the turtle dove’s distinctive purring call as it arrives from Africa between April and June
  • the ‘churring’ of the elusive nightjar.
Top tip

These wildlife activities aren't all confined to woodland - keep your eyes peeled in local parks, street trees and your own garden.

Kaleidoscope of colour

From the woodland floor to the blossom-filled canopy, the woods are bursting with colour as spring flowers fade and summer blooms take over. Enjoy the last of the creamy hawthorn and blackthorn blossom, striking purple dog violet, delicate greenish spindle flowers and strong-smelling white wild garlic.

Fresh new lime flowers and pinky-yellow honeysuckle fill the air with their sweet scent while bramble, foxglove and enchanter’s nightshade put out their first flowers in a range of pinks, purples and whites.

June is a great month to see orchids like the greater butterfly orchid and elder and dog rose are in full bloom too.

It’s not just plants bursting with colour in June woods – keep your eyes peeled for a host of butterflies and moths too. Look along woodland edges, rides and hedgerows for just-emerged silver-washed fritillary and white admiral butterflies as well as red admiral and speckled wood. Day-flying moths add more colour in shades of orange, red, yellow and green too, from the cinnabar to the six-spot burnet.

Baby boom

Many birds are still laying eggs in June, including goldfinch, blackcap, chaffinch, chiffchaff and robin.

Bats and hedgehogs tend to give birth this month. Parents will be out foraging for food to take back to their young, so watch in the evening for bats swooping around the canopy to catch insects and keep an ear out for hedgehogs snuffling around the woodland edge.

Red squirrels often produce a second litter around this time, and weasels and otters may be born now too. As this year’s earlier broods start to become more independent, look for signs like tracks and scat where badger, fox and pine marten cubs have explored outside their dens and movement in the water as otter pups take their first swim.

Add your wildlife sightings to Nature’s Calendar

The Nature’s Calendar project tracks the effects of weather and climate change on wildlife across the UK – its records date all the way back to 1736! We monitor 150 events for the project, including many of June’s woodland wildlife activities.

Join Nature’s Calendar to record your sightings – every record helps us better understand how weather and climate change are affecting our wildlife. By taking just a few minutes to share what you see, you'll be adding to hundreds of years' worth of important data. We couldn't do this work without you!

Spot the changing seasons

Have you seen the first ladybird of the year or the last swallow of summer? Tell us about the nature near you and help scientists track the effects of climate change on wildlife.

Take part in our Nature's Calendar survey